The benefit of bridging intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) in acute ischaemic stroke patients eligible for endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) is unclear. This may be particularly relevant where reperfusion is achieved with multiple thrombectomy passes. We aimed to determine the benefit of bridging IVT in first and multiple-pass patients undergoing EVT ≤6 h from stroke onset to groin puncture.
We compared 90-day modified Rankin Scale (mRS) outcomes in 187 consecutive patients with large vessel occlusions (LVOs) of the anterior cerebral circulation who underwent EVT ≤6 h from symptom onset and who achieved modified thrombolysis in cerebral ischaemia (mTICI) 2c/3 reperfusion with the first pass to those patients who required multiple passes to achieve reperfusion. The effect of bridging IVT on outcomes was examined.
Significantly more first-pass patients had favourable (mRS 0-2) 90-day outcomes (68 vs. 42%, p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed an association between first-pass reperfusion and favourable outcomes (OR 2.25; 95% CI 1.08-4.68; p = 0.03). IVT provided no additional benefit in first-pass patients (OR 1.17; CI 0.42-3.20; p = 0.76); however, in multiple-pass patients, it reduced the risk of disabling stroke (mRS ≥4) (OR 0.30; CI 0.10-0.88; p = 0.02) and mortality (OR 0.07; CI 0.01-0.36; p = 0.002) at 90 days.
Bridging IVT may benefit patients with anterior circulation stroke with LVO who qualify for EVT and who require multiple passes to achieve reperfusion.